Who Are You Upset With?
Mark 4:35-41 “And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Class has come to a close and the multitudes have been sent away. The sun is beginning to set amidst the Judean hills as Jesus and His disciples embark on another journey; “Let us pass over unto the other side.” Having entered the ship Jesus finds something that would serve as a pillow or cushion upon which to rest his head. Having sought a place in the hinder part of the ship, the stress of ministry gives way to sleep for the Master. Whether it was manning the oars or trimming the sails, the disciples alternated responsibilities as they set course for the other side. What had begun as a tranquil evening quickly gave way to the tempestuous spirit of the sea! The howling of the wind is only surpassed by the height of the waves that beat relentlessly upon their frail craft. In spite of the fact that the crew was impregnated with several seasoned sailors, concern quickly turned to calamity as control of the ship was pried from the hands of the sailors and placed into the hostility of the storm. For awhile their frustration was focused upon the storm until their eyes fell upon the Saviour asleep on a pillow!
In what seems but a fleeting moment, in the twinkling of an eye, their frustration and fear was diverted from the punishing storm to the passive Saviour! Like a flash of lightning their frustrations passed through their heart and erupted in words upon their lips; “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” While we are aware of the fact that fear is the accelerant that has fueled these fiery words; their words are caustic none the less! They are accusing Jesus as being an unsympathetic Saviour! In an impersonal manner, they want to know if He is concerned, interested, or if it even matters to Him that they are about to be destroyed completely; a situation that will ultimately result in their death.
Think of it; they have become more disturbed with the Saviour than they were with the storm! While we are not proud of the thought and wouldn’t want it published among the brethren, have we not been guilty of the same thoughts? “Lord, does it even matter to you that my life is being cast upon the rocks of destruction?” Having taken care of the winds and the waves with a simple utterance; “Peace, be still”, Jesus turns to the disciples and asked “why?” Other than the obvious answer that we have given way to the ideology of the flesh, why would any child of God even consider the idea of Jesus being an unsympathetic Saviour? May I give you some thoughts on the possible reasons of why?
(I) The Intensity of the Storm – vs.37 “there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves”
Let’s not minimize the situation; things are bad! The lights have not only gone out in the heavens, but in their hearts as well. You may have never experienced an evening like this; well neither had these seasoned fishermen that had grown up on the shores of the Sea of Galilee until now! While I don’t rejoice in delivering this news to you, but most likely, if you have not already experienced it, there is a Euroclydon in your future. Faced with a similar situation, Peter had left the safety of the ship to walk to Jesus on the water. Armed with the presence of the Saviour and the promise of the Saviour, Peter found the turbulent waves beneath his feet sufficient to allow him to walk to Jesus until he saw the intensity of the storm; “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink” (Matthew 14:30). Like Peter, these men were armed with His presence, “he was in the hinder part of the ship” and His promise, “Let us pass over unto the other side”, yet the intensity of the storm stole their peace, silenced His promise, and shrouded His presence. The intensity of the storm will either drive us to faith or to fear; sadly most of the time its fear!
(II) The Insufficiency of Self
While we may not vocalize it, the underlying current within our heart says, “I can believe the other guy saying that or acting that way, but not me!” Once again, Peter is a perfect example of this thought; “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended” (Matthew 26:33). We put so much confidence in the arm of the flesh; it devastates us when we find ourselves responding in fear like other men! The sword wheeling Simon Peter exalted in fleshly confidence is reduced to the consolation of bitter tears when he discovered himself to be but a mortal man of weakness. The scriptures said, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26). No doubt when the storm first broke upon them the disciples thought they were sufficient for the task, but the severity of the storm proved otherwise!
(III) The Ignorance of the Scriptures
How many of us have been mesmerized by the lyrics of the unscriptural songs sung by the promoters of health, wealth, and prosperity! “Just get saved and all your troubles will be over.” Neither our salvation nor our service insulates or eliminates us from the storms of life. Remember the words of Jesus, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33). The scriptures are clear; sin has cast a curse upon this world and its inhabitants. When driven from the garden, the first family entered a world of pain, sorrow, sickness and death! The only peace and rest to be found is in Christ.
(IV) The of Inability of the Saviour
In this moment of terror fueled by the intensity of the storm, the insufficiency of self and ignorance of the scriptures; the disciples come to a faulty assumption, Jesus is unable to meet the need. This is revealed in the words they use when they make Him aware of the situation; “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” The disciples refer to Jesus by the title, “Master.” There are several Greek words that are translated master in the New Testament. One word for master means, my master and is used as an official title of honor. Another word means supreme in authority or controller. Another means the appointee over or commander. But the word that the disciples use for master means an instructor and comes from a word that means to teach. At that fearful moment, Jesus was not the supreme authority, not the appointee over or commander, not even my master, but nothing more than a mere instructor. In these moments of weakness we forget that He “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
The intensity of the storm has fallen upon our frail craft, unleashing all of it fury in its merciless acts. Weaken by the moment we are tempted to turn our hostility away from the punishing storm and place them on the passive Saviour. While we are ashamed of our thoughts and action; they did not surface because we were heathens, but because we are human! Who are you upset with?